Arugula an assertive winter green

Advocate Staff Photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND  --  Impress guests by serving Parmesan, Pecan & Arugula Baskets. Show caption
Advocate Staff Photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Impress guests by serving Parmesan, Pecan & Arugula Baskets.

Our winter weather has taken a toll on all but the most hardy locally grown produce. Luckily, for the salad lover, some of the most nutritious salad greens do well in the cold. Among them is the bitterish arugula, also known as “rocket,” “Italian cress” and “roquette.”

The aromatic salad green with a rather assertive, peppery mustard flavor is sold in small bunches at farmers markets and many supermarkets. It also is often included in packages of mixed lettuces.

Its bright green leaves hold a lot of grit. Be sure to thoroughly wash just before using. Arugula is very perishable and only keeps in the refrigerator for a few days.

It is a good source of iron and vitamins A and C.

A recipe featuring a light tossed salad served in a lacelike basket made with warm Parmesan cheese appeared in The Advocate in 2009. The recipe intrigued The Advocate food staff and is sure to impress your guests. It’s fun to make and serve.